« Roopinder Tara takes the first look at Autodesk's new 123D | Main | In upFront.eZine this week: we have reports of pro- and anti-BIM uprisings in Russia »

May 21, 2011


Kevin De Smet

Got to admit the packaging is very nice, almost Apple-esque in its "less is more" philosophy.

R. Paul Waddington

Our Design Suite came with a commercial invioce showing this product is worth AUD$0.01.

Thats it guys one(1) cent is what Autodesk wants Australain customs to think this box and the tricks within are worth.

Autodesk's customers are not the only one being conned ;-)

Ralph Grabowski

I've wondered how corporations get away with that. I ordered the record-CD combo from RadioHead in England, and it arrived last week with a customs declaration stating that the two records and the CD each had a value of $0.

R. Paul Waddington

For the answer you got to get deep into the rules behind customs declarations. Whilst I have, in the past, been involved in the importation of machinery and know how machinery can have differing import taxes applied to different components. ie. None for some parts and lots for motors; as far as the design suite is concerned I do think there exist reasonable doubt there is no justification for the one(1) cent cost.

R.K. McSwain

I guess I can see them wanting to make the drive read-only and not reusable, but for the price of the suite they should throw in a second, empty 32GB flash drive as a bonus :-)

bill fane

Okay, I think I figured it out. Just because the Autodesk suites come on a USB device that our computers recognize as a drive doesn't automatically make it a flash drive.
There are fundamentally two types of memory on the computer world, with several sub-variants of each.

First comes RAM (Random Access Memory), which is what we have in our computers. It can be read from and written to.

The other type is ROM, or read-only memory. It is manufactured with the data already burned into it, and it cannot be changed.

Now comes the secret analysis. ROM is cheaper and electronically simpler than RAM. I believe the Autodesk drives are ROM, which is how they cram so much (32 gB) into such a small device. There is no way they can be unlocked. There is no great conspiracy here, it just isn't physically possible.

Steve Johnson

Bill, the size doesn't have anything to do with it being read-only. 32GB in Autodesk's device could easily be fitted in using flash memory. Have a look at what's available today in flash drives; a 16 GB drive that looks like a coin, and a 32 GB drive that looks like a key.

There are other sound reasons for Autodesk making them read-only; I think that's fair enough. The CDs and DVDs are read-only, after all.

R. Paul Waddington

Months after my receipt of my AUD$0.01 Design Suite package, Autodesk's subscription department has just sent me an email brochure informing me my Inventor Suite is to be upgrade to Design Suite. Even emails, from Autodesk's legals, relating to the new EULA have outrun the subscription upgrade notification – truly of well focused company this one ;-)

Paul Jordan

Send it to someone at Anonymous, they'll make it reusable..

Don Lee

Here you go if you want to make the USB key as your own:




Hi Ralph, great article. Semi-related question. If I buy one of those usb drives from ebay (Building Design Suite for example), can I install the software and will it just run?
ie. Does the dongle act as a proof-of-purchase dongle, or do you need to type in a serial number and activate? Thank you, Fidel

Ralph Grabowski

The serial number is on box which holds the USB drive.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


Search This Blog



Thank you for visiting!